BENCHMARK®, a global hospitality company, has announced a far-reaching new partnership with internationally acclaimed Chef Stephan Pyles that will inform every aspect of the company’s food and beverage program. The comprehensive and ambitious plan will bring new levels of culinary innovation to BENCHMARK and the 70 luxury properties under its Benchmark Resorts & Hotels and Gemstone Collection brands. Chef, cookbook author, philanthropist, educator and visionary, Chef Stephan Pyles is uniquely qualified to lead this groundbreaking new initiative. The trend-setting chef has been at the forefront of a renaissance in American cooking, pioneering New American Cuisine and celebrated as one of the founding fathers of the hugely popular Modern Southwestern Cuisine. He is a James Beard semi-finalist this year for Best New Restaurant for Flora Street Café in Dallas, one of a myriad of awards the acclaimed restaurant has garnered this year, including Best New Restaurant in Texas by Texas Monthly. Working closely with Benchmark’s chefs, Home Office executives, and general managers, Pyles will create and launch innovative programs in food and beverage recruitment, restaurant design concepts, culinary training, research, menu development, operations, marketing and branding. Long-term plans for the partnership include the creation of a Culinary Academy to be located at one of Benchmark’s culinary-focused resorts.